Kesar Ras Malai

for the thickened milk:
800 mls whole milk
200 gms of condensed milk
100 gms caster sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
A good pinch of saffron

For the milk dumplings/paneer:
2 pints whole milk
juice of 2 lemons

for the syrup:
200 gms caster sugar
400 mls water
Pinch of saffron
Chopped pistachio and silver varkh to garnish

Get all the milk sauce ingredients together in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil for 1 hour 30mins or so until it has reduced by half and is a bit thick. Turn the heat off and cool. Refrigerate until the milk dumplings are ready.

For the dumplings, bring the whole milk to a gentle boil in a heavy bottom non stick sauce pan. Now add the lemon juice and leave it to boil for 30seconds or so until you start to see it curdling. Take it off the heat and strain it through a muslin. Rinse the curdled mix under cold water; this helps it to come together and also takes away any sour taste. Keep the muslin on a sieve and leave to drain through for an hour to get rid of any excess water.

In the meanwhile, bring all the ingredients for the syrup together and bring to a boil. Knead the dumpling mix well to bring it together. Divide into 6 equal portions and flatten. Tip them into the syrup and cook for 7-10 minutes until they are firm.

Remove them from the syrup and cool slightly. Add them to the chilled milk sauce to soak in the thickened milk flavours. Chill the Ras malai for 4-5 hours. To serve put the dumplings in a bowl with the sauce. Topped with chopped pistachios and silver foil.

Homemade Paneer

2 litres whole milk
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

Line a sieve with a cheese cloth or muslin over a bowl. In a heavy bottom saucepan bring the milk to a boil on a medium heat. This will take up to 25-30mins but don’t be tempted to turn the heat higher. As the milk starts to rise turn the heat to a low setting, stir well and add 2 tbsp lemon juice a little at a time. Keep stirring on a low heat for 30-40 seconds; you can see it will begin to curdle and separate from the whey. If after this time it doesn’t start to curdle add the extra tablespoon of lemon juice.

Turn the heat off and strain the mix into the muslin over a bowl (you can save the whey if you wish). Run cold water and wash the milk solids to rid off the remaining whey. Gather the muslin and squeeze out as much water from it. Twist and flatten it. Sit it on a plate and place a heavy weight over it to set for 1 hour. Unwrap the paneer cut into bite size cubes and add to your favorite curry or refrigerate in an air tight container.

Coconut Prawn Curry

10-12 King prawns (shelled and deveined)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
8-10 curry leaves
350 mls coconut milk
50 mls water
1 tsp tamarind paste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish

for the paste:
100 gms coriander leaves
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 green birds eye
Juice of one lime

Peel and devein the prawns leaving the tails on. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and turmeric powder on the prawns. Mix well and set aside while you make the paste.

Mix all the ingredients for the paste in a mini processor and add a couple of tablespoons of water to form a smooth paste consistency. Spread a couple of teaspoons of the paste over the prawns and set aside.

Heat oil in a sauce pan add the curry leaves and sauté until they crackle. Add the remaining paste and fry on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the prawns fry for 1 minute until they just start to take on a pink hue.

Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes and add the water. Stir in the tamarind paste if using. Simmer for a further 4-5 minutes until the prawns are cooked.

Season to taste and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve warm with chapattis or steamed rice.

Goan Prawn Caldinho (Shrimp with Ginger and Coconut Milk

400 gms raw king prawns deveined with tails on
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp Goan vinegar or white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 medium tomato finely chopped
3 cloves garlic pounded to a paste
1 inch piece of ginger pounded to a paste
400 mLs coconut milk
80 mls water
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 slit green chillies (deseeded if you prefer it mild)
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish

For the powdered spices:
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds

In a bowl add the prawns and sprinkle over turmeric powder, vinegar and salt. Mix and set aside for 15-20 mins while you get the curry ready. In a coffee grinder tip in the cumin seeds, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Blitz to a fine powder and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy based sauce pan and add the onions and fry for 5-7 mins on a medium until they start to change colour to a light brown. Add the chopped tomato and fry for 3-4 mins. As they begin to soften add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further minute.

Now add the powdered spices and mix it all together. Fry for 2 minutes and add the marinated prawns. Stir coating them in the spiced sauce for a few seconds now add the coconut milk, water and tamarind paste.

Bring to a simmer cooking the prawns until they turn pink for no more than 3-4 minutes. Add the green chillies and sugar. Garnish with coriander leaves and check seasoning. Serve with steamed basmati rice or some pav bread and a fresh zingy salad.

Chemeen Mulakittathu (Spicy Malabar Prawn Curry)

350 gms king prawns shelled and deveined
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
120 gms shallots thinly sliced
1 green chilli slit lengthwise
15 curry leaves
4 garlic cloves ground to a paste
1 tsp mild chilli powder or Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
180 gm tomatoes finely chopped
150 mls water
4 tbsp tamarind paste
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
Slivers of ginger
Coriander for garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan on a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Now add the fenugreek seeds and the sliced shallots. Fry for a minute and add the green chilli along with half the curry leaves. Continue to fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat until the shallots begin to change colour to a light brown.

Add the garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the powdered spices and fry for a further 10 seconds making sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until they soften for 6 minutes. Mash with the back of the spoon and add water along with the tamarind paste. Season to taste. Lower the heat and bring to simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the prawns and cook over a low heat for 6-7 minutes with the lid on stirring half way through. Turn the heat off and add the ginger slivers along with the remaining curry leaves and coriander.

Mangalorean Prawn Sukke (Shrimp with Coconut and Tamarind

12-14 king prawns deveined, shelled with tails left on
1 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
120gm white onions finely chopped
12 curry leaves
6 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 inch ginger roughly chopped
1/4 tsp mild chilli powder
2 heaped tsp tamarind paste
100 mls water
Salt to taste
Handful of coriander for garnish

For the coconut spice mix:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 mild dried red chillies
120 gms grated coconut (fresh or frozen) or desiccated coconut

Add the prawns to a large bowl and sprinkle over the turmeric powder and pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside. Crush the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste in a grinder or pestle and mortar.

Heat a frying pan over a low flame. Add the all the ingredients of the spice paste except the coconut. Roast for 7-8 minutes stirring a few times while they release their aroma and change colour slightly. Turn the heat off and cool the spices.

Grind the spices in a spice grinder to a powder. Decant into a bowl. If the coconut has any moisture dab lightly with a kitchen towel. In the same grinder add the coconut and grind it roughly. Add the coconut to the spice powder and set aside.

In a large heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds as they begin the splutter add the chopped onions. Fry for 14-15 minutes stirring well making sure they soften and go light brown in colour.

Add the curry leaves and now turning the heat to a low setting add the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for 2 minutes

Add the chilli powder, blended spice and coconut mix along with the tamarind paste. Stir for a few seconds and add the marinated prawns. Mix well and season to taste.

Add the water and simmer over a low heat for 5-6 minutes with the lid on until the prawns are cooked all the way through. Stir half way through cooking. Turn the heat off and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with plain rice or pav/ bread roll and some raita.

Andhra Royala Vegundu (Andhra-Style Shrimp with Fennel and Tomato Sauce)

500 gms king prawns shelled and deveined
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 inch ginger roughly chopped
1 birds eye chilli

For the stir fry;
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
180 gms shallots finely chopped
10 curry leaves
5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coarsely ground fennel
90 gms tomato finely chopped
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish

In a blender add the ginger and green chilli with a splash of water and blend to a smooth paste. Add the prawns to a large mixing bowl along with the turmeric. Add the ginger chilli paste and marinate for 1 hour

Heat the oil in a kadhai or wok on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and as they splutter add the shallots. Fry the shallots for 10 minutes as they begin turn light brown in colour.

Now add the curry leaves and garlic and fry for 2 minutes stir well. Add the chilli powder, turmeric and fennel along with the chopped tomato. Fry for 1 minute over a medium heat

Now add the marinated prawns, season to taste and fry for a further 2 minutes stirring to make sure it does stick to the bottom. Continue to cook for 6 minutes with the lid on stirring halfway through.

Garnish with coriander and serve warm with rice or chapatti.

Bengali Cholar Dal

250 gms Chana Dal/ Bengal gram
1.2 litres water
2-3 cloves
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 heaped tsp sugar
2 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
30gms grated coconut
1 heaped tbsp raisins
1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish

for the spice mix:
1 inch cinnamon stick
5-6 cardamom pods seeds only

Add the lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat stirring often. Simmer and add the cloves, turmeric, salt & sugar. Continue cooking for a further hour and 15 minutes until the dal is soft stirring often making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat off and mash roughly with a potato masher or back of a fork.

To make the ground spice mix; heat a frying pan over a low flame. Break the cinnamon stick and chillies to smaller pieces. Add the cardamom seeds along with the cinnamon and red chillies to the pan. Keep the heat on low giving the pan a few shakes every couple of minutes. Roast the spices for 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly and tip it in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder. Set aside.

n a heavy bottom non stick pan heat the oil over medium flame; add the bay leaf and cumin seeds cooking until they sizzle for a few seconds. Now add the green chillies and stir for 2-3 seconds. Add the coconut frying for a minute or so until it start to turn light brown

Slowly pour in the cooked chana dal stirring well. Bring it to a boil, add the raisins and the ground spice powder. Simmer on a low heat cooking for 10 minutes with a lid on. Stir a few times as it simmers making sure it doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan. Check seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve parathas, luchis or steamed rice

Chilli Paneer

200 gms Paneer/ Indian cottage cheese chopped into cubes
Oil for frying

for the batter;
2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder or mild paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp garlic paste
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp water

for the sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp ginger finely chopped
80 gms red onion chopped into cubes
1 medium red or green pepper chopped into cubes
1 green chilli slit lengthwise (deseed if you wish)
1 1/2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce or kecap manis
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Sliver of ginger and chilli for garnish

Heat couple of inches of oil in a wide sauce pan or a wok. Mix the water with all the batter ingredients in a bowl you want a sticky thick paste like consistency. Toss the paneer cubes in the bowl to coat the pieces evenly. Fry the paneer in the hot oil in batches for 20-30 seconds. They should have a light brown crisp coating on all sides. Drain the paneer on kitchen paper and set aside.

To make the sauce; heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped ginger. Fry for 20 seconds and add the red onions. Sauté the onions for a further minute until they soften and tip in the red peppers along with the slit chilli and fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the chilli garlic sauce and the dark soy & stir well. If the sauce is a little thick add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it out slightly

Kashmiri Dum Aloo (Potatoes in Fennel and Tomato Gravy)

60 gms cashew nuts
18-20 small new potatoes peeled
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium white onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
200 gms greek yoghurt lightly whisked
1 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1 tsp fennel powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp tomato puree
150 mls water
1/2 tsp ground cardamom powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp crushed dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1 tbsp coriander leaves for garnish
Slivers of ginger for garnish

Soak the cashew nuts in warm water for 20 mins. Prick the new potatoes with a fork lightly (this helps them cook all the way through). Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or kadhai. Add the potatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes until they turn crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper & set aside.

Whisk the yoghurt and mix in the chilli powder, fennel powder and cumin powder. Stir the spiced yoghurt and set aside.

Drain most of the water from the cashew nuts; blend the cashew nuts to a fine puree. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the kadhai. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they begin to soften for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes as it cooks. Turn the heat to a low setting and add the spiced yoghurt. Stir well for a minute and add the cashew nut paste. Stir for 2-3 mins. Tip in the tomato puree and stir for a further 2 minutes.

As the curry starts to leave oil from the sides of the pan add the fried potatoes, water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 mins stirring ever so often until the potatoes have soaked in the flavours and cooked all the way through. Add the cardamom powder, crushed methi/fenugreek leaves if using, fresh coriander and ginger. Stir and serve warm with soft naans and some fresh salad.

Kashmiri Paneer Masala

350 gms Paneer diced in cubes
Mustard oil for shallow frying (or vegetable oil)
500 ml water
Pinch hing/ asafoetida
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
6 green cardamom
1/2 tsp shahi
3 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp fennel powder
2 tbsp greek yoghurt
Pinch of saffron
Pinch of garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish

In a bowl add 500mls of warm water and set aside. In a frying pan heat oil and fry the cubes of paneer in batches until golden brown. The paneer might splutter slightly so make sure the heat is on medium. Drain on kitchen paper and add the fried paneer to the bowl of warm water. Let it soak while you make the curry. This helps the paneer to retain its moisture and stay soft.

Add 3 tablespoons of the oil to a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add asafoetida and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Now add cinnamon stick, bay leaves and green cardamom. Fry the spices for a minute as they begin to splutter and release their flavour into the oil. Add the shahi jeera and fry for 2-3 seconds.

On a low heat add the tomato puree. Stir well making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add the chilli, ginger and fennel powder. Stir and fry for 2 minutes as they blend with the paste. Add 350mls of the soaking paneer liquid and continue to cook on a medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7minutes without the lid. The curry should have a thick consistency if it is too thick add a little more of the soaking liquid.

Crush the saffron into the gravy and whisk in the yoghurt. Simmer for a further 8 minutes and now tip the paneer chunks into the pot. Stir gently making sure they don’t break. You don’t really need to cook the paneer but just make sure the gravy coats the pieces well. Season to taste.

Khatta Jeera Aloo (Spiced Potatoes with Cumin and Pomegranate)

700 gms baby potatoes boiled and peeled
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp hing or asafoetida
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 ginger slivers
1 green chilli finely chopped
1/2 tsp mild red chilli powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
2 tbsp pomegranate powder
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander for garnish

In a wok heat the oil on a medium heat add the asafoetida and fry for couple of seconds while it sizzles and infuses the oil. Add the cumin seed and fry for a further 10 seconds. Add the ginger slivers and the green chilli. Stir well and fry for 8-10 seconds followed by the boiled potatoes

Add the powdered spices and stir for 3-4 minutes. The colour will deepen slightly and the spices will begin to coat all the potato chunks. If you feel its sticking to the bottom of the pan turn the heat lower or add a splash of water (although this is a dry dish and you wouldn’t want to add any moisture to it).

Add the sugar, salt and chopped coriander. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid and let it rest for a few minutes as the potatoes soak in all the spices. Serve with dal and roti/ parathas.

Paneer Jalfrezi

230 gms paneer diced in cubes
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion thinly sliced
2 garlic finely chopped
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch turmeric powder
1 medium green pepper thinly sliced
1 small tomato sliced
Salt to taste
1 inch ginger slivers for garnish
1 tbsp lemon juice
Fresh coriander for garnish

Heavy oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add cumin seeds and sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the onions and fry for 2-3minutes on medium heat. As they begin to soften add the garlic paste and fry for a few seconds. Add all the spice powders and stir for a further minute. If the spices stick to the base of the pan add a splash of water.

Now add the peppers and mix with all the spices for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes at this stage and cook until slightly softened. Now add the paneer cubes and stir well to coat with all the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes, season to taste. Add the ginger, lemon juice & garnish with fresh coriander. Serve warm with naan or chapatti.

Malabar Vegetable Ishtu (South Indian Vegetable Curry)

3 tbsp vegetable oil
6 cloves
4 cm cinnamon stick
1 large white onion thinly sliced
1 green chilli slit lengthwise
2 inches ginger finely chopped
12 curry leaves
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 medium tomato finely chopped
150 gms carrot diced into cubes
150 gms green beans cut into three
200 gms cauliflower cut into small florets
200 mls water
250 mls coconut milk
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish

Heat oil in a heavy bottom large sauce pan on medium heat. Add the cloves and cinnamon and fry for 3-5 seconds. Add the onions and fry for 8-9 minutes as they begin to soften. Now add the green chilli, ginger, half the curry leaves and turmeric powder. Stir well and fry for 40 seconds to mix the spices well. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes as it begins to soften. Followed by the carrots and green beans. Stir well and fry for 2-3 minutes.

At this stage add the cauliflower and fry for a further minute. Now add the water and season to taste. Simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 8-9 minutes until the vegetable have cooked. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Now add the black pepper and remaining curry leaves. Serve warm garnished with coriander along with rice or bread of your choice.

Punjabi Aloo ki Sabzi (Potato Curry)

500 gms boiled potatoes cut into cubes
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of asafoetida
1 green chilli slit lengthwise (add an extra one if you prefer a spicy curry)
1 1/2 inch ginger finely grated
3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
250mls water
Fresh coriander for garnish

In a dry frying add the cumin seeds and roast on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. The seeds will begin to change colour slightly and release their aroma. Turn the heat off and cool the cumin seeds. Now crush them to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder and set aside.

In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil on a medium flame. Add the asafoetida and chilli, cooking for a couple of seconds. Now add the grated ginger and stir well making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Fry for 2-3 seconds and add the chopped tomatoes.

Fry the tomatoes on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, they will start to go mushy and soften. At this stage add the tomato puree and stir well for a further minute. Turn the heat low and add the boiled cubed potatoes, stir well coating the potatoes in the tomato gravy. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder along with the sugar and salt. Stir well and add the water. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 3-4 minutes stirring halfway through. Add a little more water if its too thick although your looking for a slightly thicker gravy rather than a watered down consistency.

Garnish with coriander and serve with puris or chapattis and some onion salad.

Bengali Kumro Chenchki (Spiced Winter Squash)

680 gms squash/ pumpkin cut into bite size chunks; cleaned with the skin left on
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaped tsp panch
2 dried mild red chillies deseeded
1 1/2 inch ginger pureed to a paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mild chilli powder
1 heaped tsp coriander powder
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
100 mls water
Fresh coriander for garnish

Heat the oil in a kadhai on a medium flame. Add the panch puran and red chillies letting them sizzle for a few seconds.

Add the ginger paste and fry for a minute making sure to stir so it does not burn. Add the chopped squash or pumpkin and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add the powdered spices, sugar and season to taste. Stir well. Add the water and simmer on a low heat with a lid on for 8 minutes.

You want the squash to cook yet hold its shape. Stir half way through and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes with the lid half over the kadhai/ pan. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with dal and luchi or puris the Bengali way.

Bengali Aloo Posto (Potatoes and Poppy Seeds)

800 gms baby potatoes peeled
60 gms poppy seeds
2 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 heaped tsp nigella seeds
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
150 mls water
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Extra chillies for garnish (optional)

Soak the poppy seeds in a bowl of hot water for 2 hours. Make sure the water covers all the poppy seeds. Using 4 tbsp of the soaking liquid add the poppy seeds to a blender and grind to a paste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the nigella seeds and green chillies. Fry for 7-8 seconds and add the peeled potatoes. Mix well and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the turmeric powder and stir well. Put the lid on and continue fry for further 5 minutes. Stir and add the poppy seed paste making sure it coats all the potato pieces. Add the water and season to taste.

Bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking. Add a pinch of sugar and a few more chillies (if you like it spicy) and simmer for 2 minutes. Add a little more water if it gets too dry.

Serve with puris or a bowl of dal and rice/ dal bhaat.

Gobi Matar ki Sabzi (Cauliflower with Peas)

360 gms cauliflower cut in florets
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2-tsp turmeric powder

For the sabzi:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
110 gms white onion coarsely grated
5 cloves of garlic ground to a paste
2 inch ginger pounded to a paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild chilli powder)
250 gms passata
2 tbsp tomato puree
85 gms frozen green peas
Salt to taste
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander

Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a baking tray with foil. Add the cauliflower to a bowl. Mix the oil with the turmeric powder and coat the cauliflower. Tip the cauliflower over the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes

In the mean while start cooking the sabzi. In a heavy bottom saucepan heat the oil on a medium flame. Add the onions. Fry for 10 minutes. As they begin to change colour and soften. Add the garlic and ginger paste stir well and cook for 1 minute.

Now add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Fry the paste and add the passata along with the tomato puree. Cook for 7-8 minutes as the oil begins to separate from the sides.

Turn the heat to low setting, season to taste. Add the baked cauliflower along with the frozen green peas. Stir well coating the pieces in the tomato gravy. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

Turn the heat off and add the garam masala along with fresh coriander. Serve with rotis and raita.

Bengali Dimer Dalna (Potato and Egg Curry)

6 boiled eggs shelled
200 gms potato boiled, peeled and cut to chunks
5 tbsp mustard or vegetable oil
2 dried kashmiri chillies
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
180 gms white onion blended to a paste
2 inch ginger roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
150 gms tomato finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
300 mls water
Handful of coriander to garnish

Add the ginger and garlic to a blender with a splash of water and blend to a smooth fine paste. Set aside.

Heat 2 tbsps of oil over a medium heat in a frying pan. Add ½ tsp turmeric powder and cook for a couple of seconds followed by the boiled eggs. As the eggs fry the skin will crisp up slightly so shake the pan and until then for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside until you make the curry.

Heat the remaining oil in a heavy bottom medium sauce pan. Add the dried chilli, cinnamon, bay leaf and cumin seeds frying for a few seconds.

Now add the onion paste and fry over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes stirring frequently.

Keralan Cabbage Thoran

For the paste;

120 gm grated fresh coconut (or desiccated coconut)
1 tsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
1 green chilli

To cook the Thoran;

3 tbsp vegetable oil
800 gm white cabbage finely shredded
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 mild dried red chilli halved
100 gms onion finely chopped
12 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp coriander for garnish roughly chopped

Add the paste ingredients to a blender with 100 mls water and blitz to a smooth fine paste. Set aside.

Heat a large heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds letting them splutter for 3-5 seconds. Add the dried chilli and follow by the chopped onions. Stir and fry for a 1minute. Now add half the curry leaves and continue to fry for 5 minutes as the onions begin to soften.

Cook the cabbage over a low heat with a lid on. Make sure to stir halfway through the cooking.

Now add the coconut paste and continue to cook for 2 minutes with a lid on. Turn the heat off and garnish with the remaining curry leaves and fresh coriander

Add the turmeric powder and stir well. Add the shredded cabbage a little at a time, season to taste and mix to coat it with the spice mix.